#loss · America · compassion · culture · death · guilt · health

Mass murder

Guns –as the pro-gun lobby likes to say– really do kill people, but those guns have to be in the hands of a person to do damage. The plea that gun ownership be kept in check so that the nutcase in your children’s high school can’t acquire one is largely being ignored by the officials in our government. The president and the nation’s attorney general agree that we need to do something about mental health. They are mum on the subject of gun control.

The fact that someone as clearly unbalanced as Nikolas Cruz could amass an arsenal of weapons should give us pause about the gun selling business. He was not exercising his Second Amendment rights; he was planning mass murder.

#history · #loss · #observation · America · better choices · churlishness · compassion · Daily Prompt · disrupt · empathy · political · politics · power · pretender · provocation · reflections · riff

Polish or coverup?

Cropped Photo © Tamara Beck

via Daily Prompt: Varnish

Putting a coat of varnish on an old beat-up piece is one way of making it look shinier and maybe younger than its years and wear. Like “fake news,” the ever-so-popular-with-the-conservative-base meme, varnish gives an illusion of things being other than they are. Let me explain what I mean about “fake news”– for the most part this is a term used to denigrate the factual. Varnish, in its way, denigrates a reality as well; it alters –or attempts to alter–the age and condition of the furniture to which it is applied. In this way, varnish is truly a fakery, while “fake news” is a slur against truth.

#history · #living · #loss · #observation · education · theater

Je ne regrette rien

Lost in thought?

It is a challenge to live life without remorse. There is always something you should have said, or could have done differently, better to remind you that you are merely mortal.

Nonetheless, I have so few regrets, at least of things I failed to do. One big one is not having had georgraphy classes while attending a school with a world-class program. Taking the opportunity to learn more about urban planning reminds me also of some of my failings in predicting Tony winners. (See my 2014, If/Then expectations, for instance. The play is about an urban planner, so I am not digressing too far afield. It is also about regrets, or paths not taken and choices made.)

The misguided Tony picks, however, are sins of commission that I do not really rue. I enjoy placing my annual bet (as I did this year at The Wright Wreport and for several years before that as well, almost always with less than a perfect score.) I also truly love the theater and the opportunities I get to be in the audience.

Not having had a shot at a career which shapes cities is a genuine lament. The college I attended, Clark University, set a terrific path for those wishing to pursue it. It never occurred to me to do so. I think I associated Geography with something very boring, like reciting the names of capital cities. (The latter is now the name of a pop duo, apparently. Times change.) There is something for which to pay penance and act in contrition.

In four years of sometimes lackadaisical, occassionally rigorous intellectual pursuit, I never set foot in any of the classes this academic discipline offered.  In fact, I doubt that I even set foot in that department’s building. I temper this regret with my memories of a very fine education and a grand gregarious experience. To make up for my own inattention to the Geo. Dept., I always tell the perspective students I interview about Clark’s excellent reputation in Geography. If I steer one of them in the direction of this line of study,  then I will feel absolution for overlooking the chance of a lifetime.

#history · #life-is-short · #loss · #observation · disrupt · politics · riff

In the garden

Let’s imagine a world of peace and harmony. Now imagine who (or what) would want to disrupt such a calm prospect.

Are we in the garden of Eden? Does it require a devil (or THE DEVIL) to tear it all apart?

Who would not want to live a life of quiet tranquility? Would you want to trade in complete serenity for disorder and chaos?

#loss · another love poem · dad · memories

Burt’s dad David


Dave_Burt_Frieda-longagoSo often it is the small things,

The little acts or habits a son recalls,

Fondly remembering gestures,

The tilt of the head, or the scrape

Of a spoon on a breakfast plate,

Those were endearing, dear man,

Minute but specific memories of

A father beloved and lost,

Watched over with affection,

While he cleaned his razor, and

Finished his egg


Little things recalled

Paint a fond memory,

A father, missed by a

Loving son, is remembered

For small specific gestures

The scrape of a spoon on the

Breakfast plate, an expression

Tossed out so frequently that

It marks an attitude, a

Philosophy of a life led

Plainly but with care,

Simple habits, watched tenderly

This is how he cleaned his razor,

This is how he finished his egg

#loss · #memory · #poetry · #remember · family · gifts · memories · mother

Her gift

SlavaSpitzerWith my mother gone, I was at a loss,

So many things unsaid, even after six

Months of saying them and sharing

Feelings, and thoughts, her body frailer

Her spirit undaunted by the mortal threat

Of the cancer, her iron will did not bend,

But when she broke, I was at a loss,

She was hanging in, and hanging out with

Me on drives in the country, and long talks

This was her gift to me, and her final, last